Nebraska Hunters HIP Registration Available Aug 1

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Beginning Aug.1, hunters will be able to register with the federally mandated Harvest Information Program (HIP) by computer or phone to receive a new HIP number, which they must carry with them when hunting any migratory game birds -- dove, ducks, geese, snipe, rail, coots or woodcock -- between Aug.1 and July 31, 2009.

The goal of the program is to help state and federal wildlife managers estimate the number of migratory birds harvested each year. Those estimates help biologists set limits and seasons, as well as help protect the tradition of hunting. The lack of information on hunting's effect on wildlife has been used in court to challenge hunting in some states. HIP information is needed to counter the claims by those who would shut down migratory bird hunting seasons.

Registration is required of all migratory bird hunters -- residents and nonresidents, even those already registered in another state -- lifetime permit holders, veterans and over-70, fee-exempt permit holders must register to hunt in Nebraska. Only residents under 16 years of age are exempt. Registered hunters are assigned a number which they must carry with them while hunting.

Registration is free, easy and takes less than five minutes whether done online or by phone.

To register online, day or night, go to www.nehip.com. To register by phone, call the HIP 24-hour, toll-free number, 1-877-634-8687. The system can handle many calls simultaneously, so there shouldn't be a wait, but hunters should register early to avoid the anticipated rush as dove season approaches.

Nebraska hunters should be aware that if they hunt migratory birds in another state they must also register with HIP in that state, and nonresident hunters coming here to hunt migratory game birds must register in Nebraska.